Stretch marks are a common feature for many women and usually form as a result of the skin not going back to normal after it has been stretched. These unsightly marks can be found in numerous places on a woman’s (or man’s) body such as breasts, thighs, arms, abdomen and buttocks. Stretch marks can appear as purple, pink or even red in color which then start to fade resulting in silver or white streaks on the skin.
For many women, stretch marks are an embarrassment, especially on highly visible areas. There are a few things you can do to help that problem. It is important to know what causes stretch marks and the options available in getting rid of them. This part of the site will hopefully give you everything you need to know in order to make the right decision for your body.
What are the Causes of Stretch Marks?
The causes of stretch marks vary depending on the individual. However the most common reasons are weight gain, excessive weight loss and pregnancy. So essentially anything which involves the stretching of the skin rapidly.
Pregnancy is the most common cause of stretch marks on the body of a woman because of the extreme stretching of the skin around the abdomen. The hormonal changes in the body during the pregnancy period also are thought to play a role in the formation of stretch marks.
Increase in Weight
Weight gain can also lead to the appearance of stretch marks on the skin because the skin it is stretching to be able to accommodate the extra body fat. Other people who can develop stretch marks because of gaining weight or mass rapidly are weight lifters or body builders who are likely to have them on their arms. Growth spurts in adolescents may also result in the appearance of stretch marks on various parts of the skin.
For some people, losing a lot of weight quickly can bring with it stretch marks. However this is more to do with them being more visibly obvious; chances are they were there when they were overweight.
Treatments to Remove Stretch Marks
Since stretch marks are common, you would think that getting rid of them would be easy, but this is not always the case. There are many solutions available for removing stretch marks but they are not all effective. Nevertheless, there are some that have proved to be effective in at least making them fade until they are no longer visible. These treatments can be categorized either as prescribed, salon treatments or treatments that are sold at pharmacies or retail stores and do not need a prescription.
It is important to treat stretch marks as soon as they are noticed to prevent them from becoming worse and damaging the skin permanently. This can be done through the use of skin creams that specifically remove stretch marks. Most of these creams help to decrease the visibility of the stretch marks but do not necessarily remove them from the skin. However, consistent use of the skin creams such as Tretinoinmay result in the area affected by stretch marks changing its appearance to look like normal skin. However it’s impossible to offer any guarantees because of the differences between people with stretch marks.
CIT/Laser/RF therapy is considered an effective stretch mark removal option that should only be done after consultation with a qualified Laser specialist. The doctor will be able to give advice on the best laser treatment depending on factors such as one’s age, skin condition and the area of the body that has the stretch marks. The objective of laser therapy is the stimulation of the production of collagen and melanin in the skin through the use of lasers.
Age of The Marks
For older stretch marks, microdermabrasion is a good solution as it removes the top layer of the skin so that a new layer one can grow in its place. The treatment is done using a hand-held device that is used to graze the surface of the skin using crystals. Later, a tube is used to remove the skin cells and the crystals by vacuuming them. This hopefully results in stretch marks that are less visually obvious. It’s like an extreme form of exfoliation.
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Answers to common questions about laser stretch mark removal:
What types of stretch marks can be treated?
Stretch mark treatment can treat stretch marks caused by pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain and body changes due to puberty.
Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
Stretch mark removal can work on many skin types, including very light and very dark skin. Contact a provider to find out if you are a good candidate for this treatment.
How does it work?
Stretch mark treatment uses short pulses of energy based devices to reach deeply into the skin’s sub-layers, treating the aging support structure. Then the body’s natural healing process sweeps away older, damaged tissue and rebuilds it with fresh, new collagen and elastin – the crucial building blocks of smooth skin. The new collagen can leave the stretch mark smoother in texture and reduce the appearance of the stretch mark on the skin by improving the color.
How long does it take?
The procedure can be performed in as little as 30 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area.
Does it hurt?
Most people feel minimal discomfort during stretch mark removal treatment. Your provider can discuss pain management options with you.
How many treatments will I need?
Most people may need three to four to eight treatment sessions for optimum aesthetic results.
How quickly will I recover?
Most people resume regular activities immediately following the treatment session.
Are there any side effects?
Typical side effects of stretch mark treatment include temporary redness, as well as itching and swelling at the treatment site, which typically lasts a few days.